Sugar Alcohol

Sugar Alcohol

Introduction

Sugar is a crystalline substance generally called as sweet. It is a soluble carbohydrate that is used in most foods. It is comprised of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Numerous sugar types are available that are obtained from various sources. One of the basic forms of sugars is monosaccharides that contain fructose, galactose, and glucose. Sugar as a food source is used as disaccharide namely lactose and maltose. Sugar alcohol is derived from a sugar is an organic compound that comprehends a class of polyols. It is neither an alcohol or sugar as the name suggests. They may occur naturally or they are produced in industries.

Sugar alcohols are the organic compounds which are derived from a sugar that comprehends a class of polyols. It is neither an alcohol or sugar as the name suggests. Sugar alcohols are water-soluble, white solids which occur naturally and also can be produced in industries. These water soluble solids are used in various food products commercially. They are used in place of table sugar, used as sweetener and thickeners. Xylitol is a popular sugar alcohol which possesses similar properties as that of sucrose in terms of its appearance and sweetness.

Common Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols derived from disaccharides but both disaccharides and monosaccharides can form sugar alcohols. Some common sugar alcohols are listed below:

  • Xylitol
  • Ribitol
  • Glycerol
  • Erythritol
  • Threitol
  • Volemitol
  • Isomalt
  • Maltitol
  • Lactitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Galactitol
  • Fucitol
  • Iditol
  • Inositol

Uses of Sugar Alcohol

  • Sugar alcohols are used in the food industry as sweeteners and thickeners. In commercial foodstuffs, it is commonly used in place of table sugar.
  • One of the biggest problems faced for consuming an excess amount of sugar is tooth decay. But consumption of sugar alcohol does not cause tooth decay. For instance, chewing gums manufacturers use Xylitol in their products. It is used to constrain oral bacteria to which prevent tooth decay.
  • Sugar alcohols lower the number of calories present in the food products. It also helps in reducing weight.
  • It can also be used to regulate glycemic index, by reducing carbohydrates rate.

Practise This Question

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